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How I Learned to Get More Done Every Day

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Ever feel like you’re juggling ten things at once but not getting much done? I’ve been there. Whether it’s parenting, work, or just the daily grind, finding ways to get more done can feel like an uphill battle. But over time, I’ve found some strategies that work wonders.

Stuck in the Daily Hustle?

“In the weeds” – it’s a term from my waitressing days when everything just piled up. It refers to someone who is so swamped they can’t see their way out. And let me tell you, it’s not just a restaurant thing. It can feel like life sometimes, right?

The Secret of the Super Productive

You know those people who glide through their days, ticking tasks off left and right? They’ve mastered the art of being productive without burning out. I used to wonder about their secret sauce until I became one of them! Here’s how you can too.

My Blueprint for Getting More Done

Step 1: Plan with Purpose.

I used to wing my days, but let me tell you, planning is key. Every night, I jot down what needs to be done the next day. It’s like a little brain dump that helps me sleep better and start the next day with a clear plan.

Step 2: Choose Impact Over Activity.

It’s tempting to do the easy stuff first, but I’ve learned to tackle the biggies instead—things that make a real difference. Like paying a bill that’s due today or dealing with the leaky faucet, problems that will become bigger issues if I put them off. The satisfaction of ticking off those big tasks is a game-changer.

Step 3: Master the Mornings.

I was never a morning person, but setting my alarm just 30 minutes earlier makes a world of difference. That quiet time before the house wakes up? Pure gold for getting things done. That’s when I go over my To Do list, switch laundry from the washer to the dryer, and tidy up most of the house.

Step 4: Routines are Lifesavers.

I have a daily cleaning routine—20 minutes each day—and it keeps the chaos at bay. The same goes for other routines, like grocery shopping every Sunday or doing a load of laundry every day. It’s about keeping on top of things before they become overwhelming.

Step 5: Learn The Art of Saying No.

This was a tough one for me. But I’ve learned that guarding my time means sometimes saying no. It’s about deciding who gets access to me and when, so I can use my time and attention where it will make a difference. If it doesn’t fit with my day’s priorities, it’s okay to pass or reschedule.

Step 6: Bursts of Focus.

Ever heard of the Pomodoro Technique? It’s 25 minutes of focused work, followed by a 5-minute break. No exceptions. It’s been a lifesaver for keeping my energy and attention up. Our brains need that shift to perform well.

Step 7: Ditch Multitasking.

I used to pride myself on multitasking, but focusing on one thing at a time actually gets it done faster and better. Turning off the TV and focusing on planning our week’s meals in silence helped me come up with ways to use what we have, which saved us money.

Step 8: Use Idle Moments.

On the other hand, there are times when multitasking is good, like when you’re doing something that doesn’t require your full mental energy. Talking on the phone while wiping counters? Perfect multitasking. I do all sorts of quick chores in idle moments.

Step 9: Schedule Social Media.

It’s easy to fall into the social media trap. I set specific online times to keep it from lulling me into a trance that steals my day. One boundary: no social media until I’ve finished my daily tidying routine. Then it’s not again until lunch time, so I can focus on work. It is amazing how that freed up my day.

Step 10: Quick Wins with the 2-Minute Rule.

If it takes less than two minutes, do it right then. Signing off a permission slip, wiping down the counter, putting away shoes: these quick tasks can add up to a big sense of achievement. But if you put them off in the hope of remembering to do them, they probably won’t get done.

Step 11: Capture and Trap.

For those things that I can’t do in 2 minutes, or know I need to do in the future, I keep a running list on my phone’s reminder app. On Sundays, as I’m planning my week, I go through the list and add things to the calendar. That keeps things from distracting me but ensures I won’t forget them.

Step 12: Sacred Sleep.

I used to skimp on sleep and push myself to get everything done, no matter how late that kept me awake. No more. Good sleep is the foundation of a productive day and my best defense against anxiety and burnout. Now, I aim for a minimum of 7 hours – no excuses.

To the Parents of Little Ones

If you’ve got a baby at home, cut yourself some slack. You’re doing a fantastic job just by keeping that little human happy and healthy.

One thing I’ve learned over the years as my housewife routine changed: there will be time down the road to focus on being productive. Right now, just enjoy the baby snuggles and don’t worry about getting more done.

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2 Comments

  1. Excellent video and advice! I learned the hard way when my five children were small. Now, since working at home between outside part-time work and volunteering, I find I need to re-visit what I used to do. It’s helping me keep my sanity! Setting the timer for getting into a task (especially ones I dread!) and rewarding small efforts is super “key”, as you said. Love what you post, because it is so practical and useful!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Thank you for the kind words, Julie!

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